It’s finally back in the game [E3 2009]

I’ve got an E3 post coming up shortly, but I quickly wanted to post how excited I am that EA has announced that the “Create A School” feature is finally back in the game.

This was a mainstay in all the NCAA games I played on the Gamecube and has been sorely missed in the recent 360 versions. I’ve already played around with the create-a-school website and I whole-heartedly approve.

I just wish I could figure out how to link directly my team (The North Royalton University, named after my high school) but if you know how, let me know. Here’s a screen grab of my unis:

Create a Team

If You Build It, He Will Come

My sports hero had a great day today–a grand slam and three run homer.

pujols

…oh and after only two days of play, I’m calling MLB 09 The Show the greatest sports game of all time.

Busy Buckeyes

I’ve been super busy this week, but obviously not around these parts. I’ve been working into the wee hours of the morning over at my Ohio State blog in preparation for one of, if not the, biggest college football games this season, Ohio State vs. USC.

That’s not to say I’m neglecting my video games. Not at all. In fact, we had just put in a bunch of time with the Geometry Wars 2 multiplayer modes. Absolutely fantastic. I didn’t think Pacifism would work with more than one person, but it is a riot with three people.

So stick with me over the next couple days. I’ll still be around, my mind is just elsewhere. If you don’t follow college football and you don’t hear from me in a week, you can rest assured things didn’t go how I had hoped.

[2 Minute Review] Top Spin 3

Should I break a sweat playing a sports game?

Well, I maybe didn’t break a sweat, but I did cramp my brain.

DO: Play possibly the most realistic tennis game ever. Overhand smashes, drop shots at the net and grunts that would make Maria Sharapova proud. (Okay, maybe that was just me)

TYPE: Tennis (hopefully that’s obvious).

PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (also available on everything else but the PC).

PRICE: $59.99 on the 360.

MEAT: On the surface, it’s another sports game. Where Top Spin 3 really shines is its complexity. At times it can be extremely difficult and hard to get used to, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly. The tutorials are very well done, and get deep fast. It may be a surprise, but I’m not a professional tennis player. So I can’t say if this “feels” right, but some of the shots definitely feel like they should.

There’s a career mode, of course, which I spent most of my time in. There’s nothing new here. Play some matches, get some points to get better skills, rinse, repeat. It’s fun, it’s addictive and I’ll be playing this much more. Oh, and the character creator? My daughter could have played with that for hours. Yay for electronic paper dolls!

PERKS: We’re getting dangerously close to the uncanny valley. Not sure if that’s a perk?

SCREAMS: Nothing new? Even though this is the first Top Spin game I’ve played, I’ve played enough sports games to know there’s only so much improvement can be made. It also can be insanely complex if you want it to.

VERDICT: For most gamers, this is a rental. Tennis fans and sports fans know what they’re getting and are more likely to pick it up. It’s a good buy for a specific group of gamers. You know whether you are in that group or not. If you’re not, you probably won’t be playing this.

World Golf Tour

World Golf TourI have been meaning to blog about this for literally months. I get countless hits from Google with people searching for MMO Sports Games (I have a couple posts on the subject). I still feel strongly that eventually someone is going to figure out a viable MMO Sports Game. I think golf is probably going to be the game that succeeds in this genre. Shot-Online came close, but the cartoony golf game never grabbed me. Enter World Golf Tour.

I actually first read about WGT in Fortune Magazine, of all places. The article raves about how realistic it felt and how it is the future of online sports gaming. With that kind of praise, I had to check it out.

World Golf Tour

It’s a pretty solid little golf game. As far as I can tell, there’s only a 9-hole demo at PGA Charity site, but the company behind WGT seems to have raised a decent amount of funding, and has a backing from TaylorMade Golf (my personal club of choice).

World Golf Tour

Graphically, WGT is beautiful. The mouse controls almost feel natural. The Tiger Woods swing stick is still my favorite but WGT’s controls aren’t bad. It’s hard to gauge all aspects of the game, due to the fact that right now, you can only play a closest-to-the-pin challenge. Hopefully that will change soon in future beta tests.

World Golf Tour

I am intrigued so far. It will be interesting to see how good WGT turns out to be. With things like friends lists, teams and other options, WGT could give Shot-Online a run for its MMOGolf money.